The Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow was completed in 1934 and is part of the Haavel-Oder waterway connecting the Elbe and Oder river basins. The waterway begins in Berlin at the Spandau lock and opens into the West Oder at the border area between Poland and Germany..
The current Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow (a new and much larger one is due to open in 2017 and replace this one) is 52 meters high (171 feet) by 27 meters wide (89 feet) and 94 meters long (308 feet).
Boats and barges enter the trough and are lowered or lifted at a speed of 7 meters or 23 feet per minute. It takes approximately 20 minutes for a vessel to complete the entire passage through the Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow, including loading, securing and exiting. The actual lifting and lowering only takes 5 minutes.
The trough you will see in this video weighs 4,290 tons when filled with water and is lifted or lowered by 192 counterweights via cables and deflection rollers – quite a marvel to watch in action!